IS PRESIDENT BUSH BEING EXPLOITATIVE, LANDING "TOP GUN" STYLE?
Does moving Republican Convention in New York Closer to 9/11 Cross The Line?
This past week, President George W. Bush came soaring down onto the deck of the Abraham Lincoln, arriving in a Navyman's flight suit to give a televised speech before the vessel's troops and the nation.
Earlier in the week, it was announced that President Bush's advisers, "...have drafted a re-election strategy built around staging the latest nominating convention in the party's history, allowing Mr. Bush to begin his formal campaign near the third anniversary of Sept. 11 and to enhance his fund-raising advantage, according to Republicans close to the White House." (reported by the New York Times as excerpted in Howard Kurtz' Washington Post column "Short Attention Spans?")
Is there something wrong with any of this?
It only is a matter of taste. Do you feel that doing everything possible - breaking all Republican Convention tradition - for the sake of being able to stand near where 3000 plus people were killed by terrorists is shameless exploitation or not? Do you feel getting pumped up about how our troops performed and trying to pretend he is one of them - even if the President avoided duty during an actual war in Vietnam by joining the National Guard, and even went AWOL from there - is exploitation of a victory real soldiers gave (and are still giving) their lives to create?
It reminds us here at The Moderate Independent of the waterboy who served on the sidelines all season long, and then comes running up trying to hold the trophy when the team wins the national championship.
Bush was not the person who drew up the war plan, not the person who fought, and, even by accounts from his Republican allies, such as Newt Gingrich, failed in his only role related to the war.
As reported in the Washington Post ("State-Defense Policy Rivalry Intensifying"):
"Gingrich said in an interview yesterday that he wanted to contrast the success of a transformed Defense Department with the "failure of State," which he described as "six months of diplomatic failure followed by one month of military success now to be returned to diplomatic failure to exploit the victory fully."
Yes, this did not come from a Democrat, but from one of Bush's allies on the right.
It continues, "Gingrich said, "The story of diplomatic defeat is a bigger and more profound story" than the U.S. military victory. Among other things, he cited the failure to win Turkey's approval to accept U.S. troops, the French campaign against the war and the inability to win a U.N. resolution authorizing force.
"The diplomatic efforts before the war were a period of "unrelenting defeat," Gingrich said in the interview. "For 120 days we were losing ground worldwide."
How could it be clearer. Even Republicans know that the victory belongs to the military. The part the President was responsible for, the diplomacy, setting the context of the war, and being sure the use of troops was in the best environment and to the best ends, was an "unrelenting defeat."
Not bad enough that President Bush is trying to take credit for a victory that belongs to the military and not to him, the President had to further mock and taunt the servicemen and women who created this victory by donning a flight suit and pretending he was some sort of war hero returning home to be welcomed by his fellow troops.
And maybe he also wanted to be sure to have an audience that could do nothing but applaud. Could a Navy Man boo his Commander-in-Chief as he speaks before him on board a warship?
As for using September 11th as a launch pad for his campaign, what exactly will he be trying to take credit for there, we at The Moderate Independent wonder? It is simple fact that his father funded and trained the man who orchestrated the horrible terrorist acts of that day. And it is simple fact that President Bush's father also created the mess that led to the Gulf War by, with American tax-payer dollars, making Saddam Hussein by far the strongest player in the Arab Middle-East. And the final simple reality is that fighting that war on Arab soil is what turned Osama bin Laden against America.
So what exactly is Bush claiming to be heroic about? And in any case, how is it in good taste to use the memory of such a horrible day and the emotions involved for the express purpose of "begin(ning) his formal campaign" and "enhac(ing) his fund-raising advantage"? And that is in the words of his own advisors and staff - it is not speculation that this is why he is holding his convention later than one has ever been held, his staff has clearly said these are the reasons why.
So, touching down in a jet wearing a flight suit, and propping his campaign up on the corpses of 3000+ people his father may be, more than any other American in existence, responsible for the deaths of, may just be, according to us at The Moderate Independent, a touch exploitative, and, may we dare assert, a dash amoral.
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All Vol.1 Issue 1: